UK: Environment Agency reports on regulating the waste industry

Source: Environment Agency

London, UK — A new report of UK`s Environment Agency offers statistics on environmental performance, pollution incidents and illegal waste activities in the waste industry in calendar year 2015. It balances not only environmental progress, but also puts light on the illegal aspects of waste activities.

In 2014 to 2015, the ‘waste from households’ recycling rate reached nearly 45 per cent, the highest on record. Permitted sites recovered 65 per cent of their waste in 2015, compared to 39 per cent in 2000, and 64 per cent in 2014. Quality protocols have diverted over 61 million tonnes of material from landfill and have saved businesses around £466 million.

Methane emissions to air from the landfill sector have decreased by 61 per cent since 2002. 91 per cent of the methane collected and combusted in engines and flares at landfills was combusted in engines to generate electricity.

Total fines arising from the prosecution of companies involved in waste activities increased by 85 per cent compared to 2014.

Between 2014 and 2015 the number of:

  • permitted waste facilities increased by 2 per cent
  • serious pollution incidents caused by permitted waste sites decreased by 36 per cent
  • poor performing permitted waste sites has fallen by 20 per cent
  • persistently poor performing waste sites has fallen by 6 per cent
  • sites of high public interest decreased by 53 per cent

In 2015 to 2016, the Agency:

  • found over 1,000 new illegal waste sites
  • stopped nearly 1,000 illegal waste sites, more than in the previous 2 years
  • stopped more than 50 per cent of new illegal waste sites within 90 days, more than ever before
  • inspected 1,388 containers prior to export, compared with 167 in 2012 to 2013

The Agency estimates that illegal exports of WEEE and household waste fell by 17 per cent between 2014 and 2016 with a net benefit to the UK economy of £2.75 million.

The complete 2015 evidence summary can be downloaded under

Source: UK Environment Agency